Home > Uncategorized > Open Letter to My Sister’s Neighbors Who Keep Rallying to Shoot Her and Ask Questions Later

Open Letter to My Sister’s Neighbors Who Keep Rallying to Shoot Her and Ask Questions Later

Over the last year a number of you have been posting unconfirmed and false narratives about my mother and sister on social media neighborhood pages. Apparently, they are the token “crazy people” in your area. Your posts and threads encourage one another to “take up arms”, “shoot and ask questions later” or “tase” my sister if she ever approaches you, or you see her on your property – and really you mean just your front porches. There’s a lot of armchair advocates pushing to get them out of the neighborhood by any means necessary, have my sister arrested (even if no crime has been committed), better yet institutionalized, or find her family so we can “control her”.

Your posts primarily complain about my mother’s, but mostly my sister’s “behavior”, which are actually symptoms of my sister’s mental illness and my mother’s dementia. My sister talks to herself regularly, walks up and down the streets all the time, dresses in weird outfits, and sure, maybe even looks “off”. (She recently gave herself an uneven boy haircut.)

But, I have yet to read or been notified that my sister has actually ever physically harmed or threatened to harm any of the neighbors in the five years she has lived there. I’m guessing that’s why your attempts to get her arrested regularly fail. Generally people need to commit a crime to be arrested. Sounds like she hasn’t.

Most recently one of you had the poor taste to describe an unconfirmed violent assault against my mother. The tone of your post was so callous and you had the audacity to use the supposed assault as an added reason why your argument to take up arms and get my family out of the neighborhood was validated. If the event you described is true, that makes my family the victims, and yet instead of empathizing with them, you blamed them. As if having a mental illness or brain disorder was not bad enough, your statements implied they deserved any assaults coming their way, too. Then you posted their home address at the bottom of the post, like a complete advertisement. This is where the mentally ill and elderly women live! Grab your guns and tasers and lets get ‘em!

I think it’s this most recent post that hurts me the most.

So to the neighbors who keep openly rallying to shoot my mentally ill sister and ask questions later, here’s what I’ve got to say to you. Please fucking stop, just stop already.

My sister is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a brain illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, and make decisions. There are some medications available to control the symptoms, but only to a degree, and not without their own terrible side effects. Ultimately, there is no cure for schizophrenia, yet, and the medical community does not know what causes schizophrenia or how to prevent it. So through no fault of her own, my sister is a member of the less than 1% schizophrenics in the world.

On the upside, she is luckier than most schizophrenics because she does have a place to live and family to support her, unlike the majority of other schizophrenics, and mentally ill for that matter, who end up homeless or incarcerated and friendless. It doesn’t miss me that you all want to take the one blessing she has left, a place to call home.

My sense is the root of why most of you don’t like my sister is because she’s just really weird, creepy even, and her presence in your neighborhood makes you feel uncomfortable, annoying you, I’m sure. (As does my mother because she lets her “crazy” daughter live there.) I bet you even think she makes your property values go down. (She does not, by the way.)

Violence is the easy answer, it requires little thought, and maybe even makes you feel like bad asses to threaten two women standing shorter than 4’10”. “Shoot her and ask questions later,” you post in all caps. “She better not ring my doorbell or walk by my house, because I have the most giant gun ever,” you further warn. I think that’s an excessive -and foolish- response, by the way. My sister has a mental illness, she may not even understand you’ve suddenly pulled a gun on her and simply continue to walk down the street in her pajamas talking to herself. And yet you all are still so eager to shoot her and so certain you have the right to shoot her dead.

I strongly encourage you to rethink this approach. Read the law carefully, maybe consult an attorney. There are real life natural consequences to everything we do. Shooting someone most definitely has a lot of consequences. While I’m limited in what I can do for my sister, in the least, I will always protect her basic human rights, and her legal ones, too. See, just like you have rights, so does my sister, so does my mom, and so do I.

My sister has the right to exist, to walk around all day, to and from the gas station, wearing mismatched clothes, all the while talking to herself, even if you do find her annoying and creepy. She has the right to chainsmoke in front of her house talking to the plants (even if it is a disgusting habit I wish she would stop). In this cold world and this life that has been so unkind to her, due to an all consuming illness that she has never deserved, I’ll be damned if I let you basic idiots rob her of her right to simply exist, too.

I’m not not empathetic to having a neighbor you dislike, and even wish would go away. I have been there, I think all of us have. I used to live next door to some knucklehead renters who I’m convinced were actually running a frat house in our subdivision. I disliked them so bad! How’d I get through those five years of constant partying and loud music? Well, patience and tolerance go a long way. Maybe consider exercising that right instead, and you know, practice makes perfect.

So maybe the next time she rings your doorbell, answer it, ask her to stop and maybe if you tell her why, she might understand and stop. If she ever trespasses on your property or does threaten to harm you, by all means, call the police immediately. But if she’s just walking on the sidewalk, as is her legal right, perhaps try smiling at her instead of grabbing your shotgun. Maybe she’ll smile back, maybe she won’t – at least the first time- but if you smile enough times maybe she’ll eventually come to recognize you as a kind neighbor. And maybe you’ll come to realize underneath all her weirdness and despite her illness, she’s just a regular person, with a lot of struggles, just trying to get through life all the same, one day at a time, just like you and me.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Desiree
    October 20, 2022 at 10:28 PM

    It saddens me that people revert to witch hunts. I myself will admit that I would be concerned in that situation as a neighbor yet,I believe in having a conversation first, expressing my concerns and listening to the other side. It’s common fucking decency that folks tend to have forgotten.

    For all that read my response, remember, behind your closed doors, your shit stinks too. I love this writer and I hate to see her pain.

    I laugh at the neighbors because whatever their evil nasty thoughts are, at least my friends mother and sister could give a fuck less! Jokes on the lynch mob, you accomplish nothing except to share with the world you are the real trash!

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